Polyamorous Holidays — a community of support sweeps Instagram
The yuletide holidays are going to look different this year! With many people facing illness, distance and isolation over the Christmas period, it’s hard to know how to approach this season of good will. But online, the holidays offer the opportunity for reconnecting. And over on Instagram, something very special is happening this December…
Those living in polyamorous dynamics — those that love and/or have romantic/sexual relationships with more than one other person — have plenty of tips, tricks and strategies to navigating the holiday season. From the logistics of gift-giving over distance to healthy discussions about risk, the polyamorous have plenty of practice. On Instagram this December, polyamorous creators, influencers and relationship coaches are collaborating to bring a month of support and community spirit in these “unprecedented times”.
Read More: the Top 10 Polyamory Podcasts for 2021
Using the hashtag #HappyPolydays,the Polyamory December Holiday Calendar features 31 polyamorous accounts from across the world, each sharing their holiday cheer. So here is everything you need to know about Instagram's thriving polyamorous community and the flagship accounts featured in this years Polyamory December Holiday Calendar.
Instagram’s Polyamorous Community
While polyamory (or ethical non-monogamy) is not a new concept, the polyamorous community on Instagram definitely is: new and thriving. Previous online communities for the polyamorous have been geared squarely toward scooping out potential romantic and sexual partners, oftentimes using the veil of online anonymity to suss out people preferences, availability and safety. But with Instagram, comes a new face of polyamorous online engagement. Or rather, many faces.
A cache of polyamorous influencers and creators, as well as educators have flourished in this niche community, and they are shedding the anonymous and secretive approach to non-monogamy. The polyamory hashtag on Instagram has over 242k posts associated with it, many of them featuring the smiling selfies of out and proud individuals, couples and ‘polycules’ (configurations or webs of more than two people connected by intimate relationships). Indeed, most of the creators featured in the Polyamory December Holiday Calendar use their real names, face and lives to create their content and inspire their following; some of them with over 80k followers.
But the polyamorous Instagram community is shedding more than just the anonymity. Instagram has facilitated a sharp turn away from ‘personal ad’ style content. Attracted by the ability to quickly disseminate education, many awareness accounts have cropped up in the Instagram ecosystem. There is a wellspring of handles for those specializing in non-monogamous couching, polyamory-informed therapy, and kinky masterclasses, making use of the ‘carousel’ style of text posts to deliver palatable information, thought provoking questions, and quotes from core texts.
The holidays can be an intensely difficult time for non-traditional households. Not only do the holidays reinforce expectations of what a family and a household “should look like” (eg. mono-hetero-normative), they also present us with a logistical, emotional and practical assault course to try and navigate. If its hard to make two sets of in-laws happy, imagine three or four, as well as children; and now all with the added pressure of risk assessment and Covid testing. In plain speak, its almost impossible to make everyone happy! As such, those in non-traditional non-monogamous dynamics need a lot of additional support this time of year, and where better to find it than in the new safe space that has been created over Instagram!?
The Polyamorous December Holiday Calendar (what is it and who’s on it…?)
The Polyamorous December Holiday Calendar was first ideated by the account @polyamory_awareness, an account with 14k followers in their own right, to set out a community advent calendar about polyamory during the holidays. After consultation over creator-chats, the original 24 were expanded to include 31 days, and to remove any specific religious affiliation the “advent” was dropped. The spirit of the calendar remains support, but also cross-promotion and collaboration for all the accounts involved.
Some of the accounts are small while others are well-established and verified; some of them are creators, some influencers, some feature polyamorous families or couples. (See below for the full those involved, in order, and including their handles). But Manu, the woman behind the @polyamory_awareness handle suggests the size of the following doesn’t matter —
“I think it strengthens the connections between the individual polyam[ory] pages and reminds us that we’re not in competition with each other, but that we can work and grow together. We’re all part of the same community afterall”.
How will it work? Starting December 1st, each featured account is posting on their respective date using the hashtag #HappyPolydays and cross-sharing the content from one another on the remaining 30 days. The goal is simple — a cross-promotion of many polyamorous-focused accounts, and the timely generation of holiday-specific content for a diverse representation of ethically non-monogamous yuletide love.
We can expect to see memes, illustrations, comic strips, and of course photos; with lots of interesting content ranging from how to handle being single/solo poly over the holidays, to how poly-families handle present-hiding logistics. And maybe even some tips on how to make the most of your pleasure over the season from the more X-rated, kink-informed creators included. Manu says that the content will likely speak directly to the insecurities that this time of year might inspire in all of us —
“With the focused content on polyamory and December holidays combined, I think we can help people feel more confident around that time and ensure them their ways of life are valid and they don’t [necessarily] need validation from their biological families. As long as their partners and them are happy, that’s all that matters.”
Who is on it?
Below is the full list of the flagship accounts, with the day they will be appearing on the calendar. What will they post? Follow to see…
Whatever your romantic persuasion or relationship dynamic, we could all use a little more love this winter. So set up an alert for the accounts above over Instagram (how to here), or follow the #HappyPolydays to join the experience. And a happy holidays to all!